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Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor
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Who Fears Death (edition 2010)

by Nnedi Okorafor

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8155011,167 (3.83)137
Member:rossarn
Title:Who Fears Death
Authors:Nnedi Okorafor
Info:Daw Books (2010), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

  1. 30
    Brown Girl in the Ring by Nalo Hopkinson (PhoenixFalls)
  2. 31
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N. K. Jemisin (electronicmemory)
    electronicmemory: Who Fears Death is post-apocalyptic futuristic fantasy and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms draws from classical sword and sorcery, but both are excellent novels about heroines who have found themselves beset and gifted (or possibly cursed) by powers beyond reckoning, while caught up in a political and supernatural power struggle that spans generations and eventually time itself.… (more)
  3. 10
    The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor (sturlington)
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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
I liked the first half better than he second half.

I liked the fantastical world the author created. Living in the desert with rock fires and capture stations. Learning to use Onye's gifts. Even the 11th Yea Rite.

But the second half read more like a YA novel with a race to save the world from the evil master (Onye's biological father). Seemed like some things were presented and explained later, although I don't think it was ever explained what the group of 6 teenagers were going to do, or how. There were references to the Great Book and Seven Rivers that weren't explained. So I learned just to go along because most were explained later.

The confrontation with the evil father occurs at the very end of the book, and the whole resolution didn't make sense to me. Mwita and Onye are dead, right? Or because Onye rewrote history, are they alive again now? And together? What does that mean for Luyu coming back to life?

In the end, I was just glad to finish! ( )
  BeckiMarsh | May 17, 2017 |
Definitely deserved all those awards it won. ( )
  Jon_Hansen | Apr 9, 2017 |
This is not a usual genre for me, so for me to give this a high rating, it had to be good. The author draws from a variety of archetypes of African and Western tradition to create a futuristic African setting that not only has a compelling storyline, but made me think about contemporary issues such as the place of women in religion and African society, the fate of African societies torn apart by race hatred, the effects of environmental degradation on human societies. Well worth moving out of my comfort zone for this book. ( )
  kaitanya64 | Jan 3, 2017 |
Such a good, satisfying and quick read. While it is fantasy, much of it is grounded in reality-as the blurb on the back of the book says.
I loved Okorafor's voice, the fierce and unrepentant feminism in her characters, and I look forward to watching her create more compelling stories. ( )
  aMnreader | Jan 1, 2017 |
An excellent combination of African folk mythology and science fiction, anchored by great characters and some truly amazing writing. ( )
  Mrs_McGreevy | Nov 17, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Nnedi Okoraforprimary authorall editionscalculated
Kern, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruth, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
"Dear friends, are you afraid of death?" - Patrice Lumumba, first and only elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo
Dedication
To my amazing father, Dr. Godwin Sunday Daniel Okoroafor, M.D., F.A.C.S. (1940-2004).
First words
My life fell apart when I was sixteen. Papa died. He had such a strong heart, yet he died. Was it the heat and smoke from his blacksmithing shop? It's true that nothing could take him from his work, his art. He loved to make the metal bend, to obey him. But his work only seemed to strengthen him; he was so happy in his shop. So what was it that killed him? To this day I can't be sure. I hope it had nothing to do with me or what I did back then.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Well-known for young adult novels (The Shadow Speaks; Zahrah the Windseeker), Okorafor sets this emotionally fraught tale in postapocalyptic Saharan Africa. The young sorceress Onyesonwu—whose name means Who fears death?—was born Ewu, bearing a mixture of her mother's features and those of the man who raped her mother and left her for dead in the desert. As Onyesonwu grows into her powers, it becomes clear that her fate is mingled with the fate of her people, the oppressed Okeke, and that to achieve her destiny, she must die. Okorafor examines a host of evils in her chillingly realistic tale—gender and racial inequality share top billing, along with female genital mutilation and complacency in the face of destructive tradition—and winds these disparate concepts together into a fantastical, magical blend of grand storytelling.
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Born into post-apocalyptic Africa to a mother who was raped after the slaughter of her entire tribe, Onyesonwu is tutored by a shaman and discovers that her magical destiny is to end the genocide of her people.

(summary from another edition)

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